Oregon Coast Community College President Pat O’Connor says that the college will be embarking on a journey with the community to target categories of unfilled jobs and move quickly to provide courses for those who would like to “train up” to fill them. O’Connor said two obvious areas of employment need are law enforcement and any form of medical assistant training. However, there are bound to be others including jobs that surround ocean research.
O’connor said the college will receive a federal pass through grant of just over $1.3 million dollars, over a three year period that are aimed at up-training low skilled workers, ensuring those who enroll finish their skill transformation, and for the college to continuously investigate the kind of skill sets the local economy needs most.
The college’s director for career and technical education programs Jane Hodgkins said the college has already received strong encouragement from local law enforcement and the medical community for building courses that meet the growing needs of those professions.
College director of basic skills Pam Carpenter said she’s pleased that the grant will enable the college to hire a full-time career coach to help students understand their options as they begin their college work and especially when they return later in life to prepare for a change in career. Carpenter said the position is critical for helping students complete their college work and to return to the work force as a family wage earner.